Last fall, the Swiss-French, Denver-based director Alexandre O. Philippe completed a profoundly weird and wonderfully engaging documentary called Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water
-- a vivid look at the quirky obsessions of members of something called the Klingon Language Institute. For those who have confined their travels, real and imagined, to our own sorry planet, Klingon is the bewildering native tongue invented by linguist Mark Okrand for the iconic TV series Star Trek
and spoken by Gene Roddenberry's wrinkled warrior geniuses. It's high time more of us paid attention to it. Starring Michael Dorn (who portrayed Klingon Commander Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation
) and set at the KLI's annual conference -- called a "qepa'a" -- Earthlings
transports us into a secret society ruled by codes and wonders all its own, the province of Trekkies who insist on taking their passion a few steps further.
Philippe, known to local film buffs as the cinematic storyteller who deconstructs great movies, stop-start style, in the Starz FilmCenter's popular Language of Film Series, says he became intrigued with the odd, made-for-TV language when he found at Denver International Airport a copy of Hamlet that, according to the cover, had been restored to the "original" Klingon text.
The filmmaker will reintroduce Earthlings: Ugly Bags of Mostly Water Wednesday, February 2, in the University of Colorado's International Film Series. The show starts at 7 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium on CU's Boulder campus. For information, call 303-492-1531.